Sydney Gardens is one of Britain’s best remaining Georgian Pleasure Gardens. It opened in 1795 and was a favourite spot of Jane Austen.
Now it is enjoyed by visitors and locals alike as a respite from the busyness of central Bath - it is a short walk from the city centre and situated behind the Holburne Museum.
The park is an ideal place for a picnic or a dog walk, and has direct access onto the Kennet and Avon Canal. The Great Western Railway also runs through Sydney Gardens making it an ideal place for trainspotting.
What can I see?
The Gardens have close up views of trains and canal boats and glimpses of the wider city of Bath amongst the historic trees. You can explore the central promenade and its listed buildings including the Loggia, an original feature of the 18th Century Gardens, and the Temple of Minerva which was added in the early 20th Century.
What facilities are there?
- Toilets (20p entry)
- Tennis courts
- Children’s Play Area
- Ice cream kiosk (variable seasonal opening hours)
Sydney Gardens National Lottery Heritage Fund Project
We have been successful in our Round 2 application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund with a £2.7 million grant. We have secured a total of £3.4 million of funding to improve the historic park. Read the Press Release about our National Lottery Heritage Fund Award. Find out more about the Sydney Gardens National Lottery Heritage Lottery Funded Project.
The funding will be used to restore historic buildings, invest in landscaping works, renovate the play area for use by people of all ages and create new gardens, alongside a programme of events and activities. The project will celebrate the fascinating history of the gardens, with its Cosmorama, Labyrinth, Merlins Swing, Concerts, Public Breakfasts, Galas and Illuminations. Find out more about the Pleasure Garden in the past.
The planning application for the restoration of Sydney Gardens was submitted on the 15th August 2018: view our planning application.
What is happening now?
Our project started on 1st February 2019:
2019: Detailed technical design, programming of works, plus public events, activities, including volunteering and training opportunities.
2020: Delivery of restoration, building works and landscaping throughout the year
2021: Completion of works with full activity and event programme
Events and activities in Sydney Gardens
We are running a full programme of activities and events for people of all ages and needs over our three year project from 2019 to 2021.
We are now planning our 2019 programme. Find out about events and activities in Sydney Gardens.
Get involved and keep in touch
Sign up to our mailing list to hear about upcoming events and activities, project update and about consultation events.
Contact our Community Ranger Sue Palmer with any comments or questions.
In November 2017, we recreated the historic Labyrinth that was an original feature of the 18th Century Pleasure Gardens, by mowing it into the former Bowls Club Lawn (on the left hand side of the park up from the main entrance) - watch the short film about recreating the Labyrinth.